New buses

Shown with the new buses as transportation supervisor Benny Floyd explains the driver alert camera are (from left) Floyd, secretary Cathy Stephens and shop employee Fred Tucker.

WEDOWEE - Thanks to a grant from the State of Alabama, some students in the Randolph County School System will be riding in style when school starts back later this year.

The school system transporta­tion department took delivery this week of six new 2020 International buses from Southland International in Birmingham. According to trans­portation aupervisor Benny Floyd, it took a lot of work and time to put everything together for the grant application from the shop to the superintendent’s office. “We found out about the grant and we were so excited,” Floyd said. “Some of our buses are 2004 models, and we needed to replace them for the safe­ty of the children. The grant totaled some $291,612 and allowed the county system to purchase these six, and there will be eight more deliv­ered, 12 route and two special need, in mid-June.”

Floyd said these new buses have all the bells and whistles but most important of all the latest safety features. He explained some of the new features that have not been on any of the old buses. “First we have a driver’s camera system connected to the braking system that will auto­matically apply the brakes in the event of a possible rollover and a camera that will let the driver know when they are following too close. The brakes would be applied in that situation too.”

Floyd said one really important safety factor is the stop-arm camera. “If a vehicle runs a stop sign endan­gering a bus, the camera will take a picture of the vehicle and the license plate.”

The new buses feature traction control which most county residents know can be useful during muddy conditions on dirt roads and wet paved roads.

Floyd went on to explain the new security cameras inside the bus. “There are four interior cameras that can take pictures and video. These are positioned so the driver can see what’s going on anywhere inside the bus, even if a child is trying to hide under or between the seats. There is also a camera near the driver that covers the front door while stu­dents are loading or unload­ing or if someone is trying to get on the bus without permission. All in all it has been a good year in trans­portation for the county schools, and it will be even better when the other buses arrive.”

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